Mercedes-Benz at the Mexico Grand Prix
As the name suggests, the history of Mexico's Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez is interwoven with that of brothers Ricardo and Pedro Rodríguez. It was the former's emergence on the racing scene in 1961, aged just 19, that provided the spark, prompting the decision to build a five kilometre circuit in the public Magdalena Mixhuca park in the east of Mexico City. And it was the latter's success later that decade which helped build an incredibly fervent home support for the event.
But the Rodriguez brothers' story was also one of tragedy. Plans for the newly-constructed circuit to host Formula One racing in 1962 were not realised, but a non-championship event went ahead and the teams duly gathered at the venue at the end of October. Sadly, Ricardo Rodriguez was tragically killed in an accident during qualifying.
The Mexican fans were devastated, but they soon discovered a new hero in Ricardo's younger brother Pedro. Already established in international sportscar racing, Pedro made only his second Formula One start in the inaugural World Championship Mexican Grand Prix in 1963. He ran in the top 10 until suspension issues forced him to retire.
There was much excitement the following year, as Mexico - now moved to be the season's final round - welcomed a three-way fight for the title that was eventually settled, after a race of constant tension and late drama, in favour of John Surtees. The Briton became the first, and to date only, man to clinch World Championships on two and four wheels.
Mexico would become the traditional end-of-season event in the late 1960s, but while Pedro scored a breakthrough Formula One win in 1967, home success continued to elude him as Richie Ginther, Surtees, Clark, Graham Hill, Denny Hulme and Jacky Ickx triumphed through to 1970. The latter's triumph would also be the last race held in Mexico for more than a decade. Two years later, Pedro would lose his life in a sportscar race in Germany.
It was not until 1986 that Formula One racing would return to Mexico City. Led by Jose and Julian Abed, the venue was revamped and the circuit slightly revised, with a new profile at Turn One and a shortened hairpin section. It remained a great challenge, however, and not just because of the curling, banked final corner of Peraltada. The high altitude continued to place a unique demand on engines, while the rough surface was difficult to master - and became an increasing problem over the following years.
1992 would bring the final Grand Prix held on the circuit - which still hosted a number of national and international championships over the subsequent years - until a return to the Formula One calendar was sealed for the 2015 season. The facility has been upgraded, with the entire track resurfaced. Changes have also been made to a number of corners including the legendary Peraltada.
|Session||Local Time (CDT)||Brackley (BST)||Stuttgart (CEST)|
|Practice 1 - Friday||16:00-17:30||10:00-11:30||11:00-12:30|
|Practice 2 - Friday||20:00-21:30||14:00-15:30||15:00-16:30|
|Practice 3 - Saturday||16:00-17:00||10:00-11:00||11:00-12:00|
|Qualifying - Saturday||19:00-20:00||13:00-14:00||14:00-15:00|
|Session||Local Time (CST)||Brackley (GMT)||Stuttgart (CET)|
|Race - Sunday||19:00-21:00||13:00-15:00||14:00-16:00|
|2017 Tyre Compounds||TBA|